The role of a support worker

Shanni-Eve joined NCHA as a support worker in 2021. She works at Blyth Street, where they provide support to ten adults with mental health needs. Here’s what she has to say about her role:

“I’ve always been really interested in social issues, and that’s what initially drew me to support work. I wanted to gain more experience of these on the ground, to supplement what I learned academically. Working here and getting to know the people we support, from so many different backgrounds and situations, has really developed my world view. I’ve learnt so much about how societal issues and how individual people, with their own unique identities, backgrounds and life stories, experience and interact within the world around us.”

“I came to work for NCHA after graduating from university and I’ve been here for two years now. I have been interested in human rights issues, women’s health, inequalities in societies and intersectional issues for a long time. Working on a degree in international relations, language and linguistics and completing additional courses in my free time, allowed me to explore these areas further”.

“I’ve changed so much whilst working here; it’s been transformative for my personal growth. I’m so different now to how I was when I first came here. I used to be really shy, I didn’t know how best to deal with different people and different situations. But since then, I have developed my inter-personal skills and I feel much more confident and resilient with dealing with difficult conversations and challenging situations.”

“In this kind of work, the more you put in, the more you can get out of it. The progression options are there if you’re willing to work hard. I have so many positive things to say about working as a support worker. The management are brilliant and are so supportive. If you want to learn and develop in your role, they’ll support you and give you opportunities to progress. My ambition is to become a project manager, and I will be applying to join NCHA’s Aspiring Leaders in-house course, starting in the New Year.”

“Being a support worker can be so rewarding and each day presents new tasks and challenges. You get to learn so much about the world and how a diverse range of people navigate it. It’s a privilege getting to know my service users and developing trusting relationships with them, so I can provide person-centred support and help them to achieve their goals. It’s not an easy job, but the rewards are worth it.”

If you are considering working in social care, take a look at our current job vacancies across the East Midlands.